Connect four

The game of connect four doubles as a scroll text display

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The original version of this game uses discs of different colors to distinct between player 1 and 2. In this game all discs are made in clear acrylic and each one is lighted by a RGB led mounted on the side of the column. At the top of each column there are two IR reflective sensor that detect if a disc is dropped or taken out. The game highlights the winning move and, when all discs are inserted, acts as a light show and scrolling text display.

When the game is turned on it will display a scroll text "CONNECT FOUR", a colorful animation and the replay of the last round.
To start a new round, turn upside down the game to dump the discs. Now the sides have a different color that change slowly, when the first disc is dropped the colors of the sides in that moment are assigned to the two players. From this moment the sides lights up with the color of the player that takes turn.
When four discs are lined up the game will blink them along with the sides lighted with the winner color.
The battery lasts more than 5 hours and can be recharged with a micro USB cable like a mobile phone

Playing this game it may happen that one player drop the disc in a wrong place and regrets his move. If the opponent allow him to do it, he would take out the disc pushing it to the top of the column poking the finger through the holes. The game has two IR sensor for each column and is able to differentiate if a disc is dropped or taken out. The working principle is the same as in a encoder where there are two photointerrupters to detect the rotation direction.

While taking the pictures in a photographic shop I noticed that the sensors do not detect the disc if exposed to extreme intense light, so just avoid using it in a hoghly lighted place, anyway will in direct sunlight is even difficult to see the lights.

  • Kickstarter Campaign

    Est01/14/2021 at 04:40 0 comments

    Soldering the SMD components was too difficult for me to be done manually and so recently i have contacted the company Gravitech Thailand that has PCB assembly equipment (pick and place machines) to help me put the project in production. This company is also the organizer of a local maker fare in Bangkok called "mini maker faire" and the upcoming "maker land" currently postponed due to COVID-19.  They suggested to add sound effects to the toy and also put the project on Kickstarter to have some funds to start the production.

    CLEAR 4: Connection Board Game With See-Through Design, via @Kickstarter

  • Video #2

    Est07/16/2016 at 00:28 0 comments

  • Definitive

    Est07/14/2016 at 00:05 0 comments

  • First test

    Est06/10/2016 at 06:16 0 comments

  • Schmitt trigger for IR sensors

    Est06/09/2016 at 08:27 0 comments

    At first i tried to connect the IR sensors directly to the Arduino inputs. Like this it may happen that a disc is detected twice as the signal may oscillate nearby the thresold level. The signal oscillates because the disc may move sideways while dropping. To solve this problem I added a smith trigger for each sensor that have an isteresys of 1/3 of the supply voltage. I choose to use Opamps because i can set the isteresys i want while if i used a cmos IC with 6 inverting Schmitt triggers the isteresys would be fixed at 0.9 Volts.

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Voja Antonic wrote 12/13/2016 at 23:46 point

Looking great! I like the idea.

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Koen van Vliet wrote 11/09/2016 at 13:49 point

This looks beautiful!

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Scott Clandinin wrote 07/16/2016 at 08:30 point

Incredible idea and execution. Wow.

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Est wrote 07/14/2016 at 02:42 point

actually another guy suggested me the same thing. But doing the patent is expensive and I can't afford to invest on it. Anyway I am trying to sell it by myself, this would also prevent someone else to patent it. yesterday I finished the first video of the definitive version.

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McGruffff wrote 07/14/2016 at 02:15 point

Great job, this looks sick!

Dropping Hasbro a line about what you did wouldn't be a terrible idea...

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